We hope that this New Year brings happiness, peace and health to you and your loved ones.
The IAHPC board recently completed the election of four candidates to the board of directors for the term 2016-2018. We received ten nominations of highly qualified and excellent candidates, which is a great show of support and participation from the international palliative care community. The four new members will be announced next month in our Newsletter. We are very grateful to all those who actively participated in this nomination process and look forward to continue working with everyone during this year.
Some of the issues we focused on, and will continue to do so during 2016, are:
Advocacy – Our advocacy strategy, led by Dr. Katherine Pettus, the IAHPC Advocacy Officer, in collaboration with colleagues from other palliative care organizations and human rights organizations, has had positive results generating awareness about access to essential medicines. This is critical, given that this year the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) will take place in New York. This Special Session will be an important milestone in achieving the goals set in the policy document of 2009 ‘Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem’, which defined action to be taken by Member States as well as goals to be achieved by 2019. IAHPC and partnering organizations have been working together to educate and inform policymakers, the international palliative care community and civil society on how unduly restrictive laws and regulations interfere with legitimate access to patients in need. Katherine’s position is supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.
A part of the advocacy strategy we also increased our activities in social media. The IAHPC Facebook page registers over 2,000 likes per week and the IAHPC Twitter account has almost 2,000 followers. We also recently started an IAHPC LinkedIn page and we now have more than 100 followers. These are exciting times that offer new opportunities for collaboration, networking and support. Visit and ‘like’ our pages and follow us on Twitter to keep connected and learn how you can help and participate!
As in the past, we will continue to help the development of palliative care, education, research and practice around the world. This year, we will be supporting the 8th Congress of the Latin American Association for Palliative Care in Mexico City, the 2nd Congress of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the 5th International African Palliative Care Conference hosted by the African Palliative Care Association in Kampala, Uganda. As in previous years we will be giving IAHPC Traveling Scholarships to these conferences to help support the travel of individuals living in low- and middle-income countries to attend.
Projects – We have completed the second edition of the Opioid Price Study and received a large number of responses. We will publish a report after completing the analysis of data in the next few weeks. We will also announce a couple of exciting projects we have in mind and have been preparing. Keep your eyes open when the calls to participate are sent out.
Memberships – The end of the year also marked the expiration of IAHPC membership for many of you. Individuals and institutions whose membership is about to expire should have received reminders by mail. If your membership expired and you have not yet renewed, please remember to do so. Membership benefits include full online access to palliative care journals, the ability to participate in research projects and the possibility of applying for financial support if you live in a developing country. In addition, membership dues are very important to IAHPC as they help us to continue our mission to help others.
During the month of December we received many donations from individuals who gave funds to IAHPC in memory of a friend or loved one as a gesture of gratitude for the care that they received from hospice and palliative care providers. Many thanks for your encouragement, support, and help. These donations are very important to the organization as they are a reflection of how much impact we are really having at the level that matters most – patients and families.
We appreciate the confidence that all of our donors, members and readers have placed in us and in our work. We will strive to be better each day and look forward to working with you in 2016.
Until next month,
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA